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Selestia (Herrera) Ganton (2009)

    My name is Selestia (Herrera) Ganton and the summer I worked at the Millet Museum was the summer I turned 19 and the summer Michael Jackson died - I remember that clearly.

    I can't entirely remember how I learned about the position, but I think my mom saw it either online or in the newspaper. I was living in Millet for the summer, so to have a summer job that I could walk to from home was appealing. I was also intrigued to learn about the museum and the history of my hometown. 

    I gained a lot of interpersonal skills in dealing with travellers who were passing through and teaching them about our town's history. I learned about detailed note-taking in inventory and how/why to keep things preserved. Positive memories I have include learning about the exhibit rooms. I had actually never been there before and was amazed by everything that was preserved and how beautifully the exhibits were displayed. Other memories include taking what I had learned about the surrounding area and visiting those places myself with a new appreciation (or visiting them for the first time), and also doing projects in the local cemetery! The history surrounding our little town was fascinating. There were always so many interesting projects to work on. I really enjoyed the friendships I made over that summer. I worked with people I had known from town before, but really got to know them over that time.

    Since working at the museum, I received both a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and a Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language from the U of A. Student funding was very important for me to continue in my education and not rely so heavily on student loans. I studied for a semester in Italy, lived and taught English in South Korea for two years, road-tripped in a campervan across Canada for a few months, and moved to Scotland for a year - it would seem that the appreciation of culture I developed and nurtured at the museum stuck with me and continued on throughout my life! I see visitor information centres and museums in a new way and appreciate the people who are sharing stories. I go out of my way to visit visitor information centres when arriving in a new city, especially while travelling, and try to support local museums. 

    My advice would be to take the time to soak in the knowledge you are surrounded with. Not every job gives you the opportunity to do so. Learn about the history of the area and keep learning and passing it on. Then, when you go through Millet, you'll smile every time you pass the school bell kiosk.